Wiring a mag pickup and doing something wrong...any ideas are greatly appreciated!

Just got a flat pu from Elmar. This is the first time wiring up my own harneness. I'm confident my wiring is correct but there's definitely something wrong. I get almost no variation when adjusting the tone pot.  I'm doing a one volume and one tone configuration with the flat pickup. From CB Gitty I bought  a 10K Ohm linear-taper pot for the tone and a 250K audio-taper pot for the volume. I used a .022uf cap on the tone pot. I've got a feeling the tone pot and cap I'm using is a bad combination. Any ideas? Also, what's the difference in a volume pot and a tone pot ? I get a very slight treble to bass adjustment but it's almost undetectable. Thanks in advance for any help!!!


Thanks, Tim

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you need a 250 tone pot and if you have humbucker you need a 47 cap prob is in tone pot double coils should have 500 tone and vol and your choice cap a 47 will give you more bass and i feel the 47 is even brighter than 22 in my pictures i wired a 2 tone on all pup positions a 22 and 47 both at same time and treble off its a 69 uf
Also when you soldered the capacitor in place did you use a crocodile/alligator clip between the cap and leg being soldered to act as a heat sink? If not the heat of the soldering iron may have fried it.
no way a decent solder wont hurt it the 10 k pot. get 250 with 22 and 47 with 500s you will like rwsults depending on pup decide 250 or 500 and 22 and 47 are most common different brands caps make a big dif i spent a year experimenting the 10 k is for an amp id go single coil 250s and 22 and for humbucker 500s and a 47 my sprauge 22 ie a good cap watch when you buy some are real big and for amps maybe ck out a lemmon drop, these are vintage   bumble bee was in 50s les pauls lots of sounds get good at soldering get 60 40 rosin core solder and tin wire maybe a drop on leg and it will stick as soon as you touch it you can get cts pots on ebay for like 350 it cheap and you can really change your tone i love my 22 and 47 you could do that to a sinfle pup if wanted it the best i love it it was a strat mos older 1s had no tone on bridge pup now you can have 2 if you want to ank me anything feel free to write Slim
Great info...Thanks alot...Oh by the way...when buying pots Is there a difference in a "tone" pot and a "volume" pot? Or are they all the same?

I have never heard of using a 10k pot on a guitar. The lowest I have tried is 50k with a single coil and it was pretty dark.

The usual for a humbucker (Elmar's flatpup is a humbucker) is a 500k pot and .22 cap.

Hi all,

don't know whether you need it, but here's a great collection of wiring schematics of Ted Crocker:


As to the Flatpup.. although it's humbucker wound, it has the characteristics of a single coil (with almost no hum). I think it's because the impedance is lower than in a normal humbucker. For 2 reasons: less windings to stay as flat as can be and secondly because of a thicker wire than the ones that are used in machine built coils.

As to your tone pot Tim, I share the opinion of Skeesix

To be honest, I know very little about ohms, impedence, etc. The reason I bought the pots that I used was based solely on CB Gitty's ad that read...."10K Ohm linear-taper potentiometers, perfect for use as tone controls in guitars..." I guess I should have checked here first. Still not clear on one thing. Are volume and tone pots the same or are they different? In other words when buying a pot do I have to look for a "tone" pot or "is a pot a pot?" 

Do not know what they are thinking saying a 10k pot is used as a tone control pot on a guitar. Most magnetic pickups are in the 7k ohm range. Normally you would use  500k pots for volume and tone, generally log taper (the resistance changes similar to how we perceive volume) and linear taper (the resistance changes in % the same as the % change in rotation) for tone. 250k pots are also acceptable if you do not mind a bit of loss in treble (should not be a problem with the strings we use).

The tone control works to create a short across the pickup. The capacitor limits the amount of low frequencies that gets effected by the tone control. A 10k pot wide open is going to short out the amount of highs as a 500k pot at about 5% from fully rolled off. I would be surprised if you get many highs with the 10k pot. To see how much effect it has on the signal play something and then disconnect the pot. You should hear more highs.

A pot is a pot is a pot. A pot becomes a "tone pot" when you add the capacitor.

A lot of your LM386 9v amp circuits use a 10k pot for the volume knob, but even there they use a 100k pot for the tone.


As already stated by others, I would use a 250k pot with a .020uf or .022uf cap for single coils and a 500k pot with a .047uf cap for humbuckers on my tone controls.


Good luck with your build.


Brian Hunt.


Thanks to everyone for the great info. It really all makes sense now. I think I'm going to try the 500k with a .047uf and see how things sound.


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